AILA Recognizes Liam Schwartz with the 2015 Sam Williamson Mentor Award

Advocacy Award

Saturday, June 20, 2015

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will recognize Liam Schwartz, of Liam Schwartz & Associates, Ramat Gan, Israel, with the 2015 Sam Williamson Mentor Award in acknowledgment of his outstanding efforts and excellent counsel to immigration attorneys by providing mentoring assistance. The award will be presented today during AILA's Annual Conference in National Harbor, MD.

Mr. Schwartz is highly regarded among AILA members generally, and among members of the Rome District Chapter in particular, as an expert on consular affairs. He graciously shares his encyclopedic knowledge of the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) and of adjudications practices at consular posts. He is referred to colloquially as "the FAM man" due to his extensive knowledge of it and he has established both "Consular Corner" in the Rome District Chapter's newsletter as well as on his own website where he highlights sections of the FAM and explains how they may affect the practice of immigration law. He has also started a series of "Paying It Forward" updates by which he sends Department of State (DOS) cables and FAM notes to chapter listservs to be disseminated to members so that other members are kept up to speed on recent changes to the FAM and policies. Most recently, he invited fellow AILA members to contribute ideas for sections of the FAM they find particularly valuable to their practice and volunteered to compile these as a resource for practitioners to use. Mr. Schwartz goes the extra distance to share his knowledge with his fellow attorneys both in response to specific questions and - perhaps even more importantly - when something strikes him as potentially useful to others.

Those who know him well sometimes wonder how he finds time to manage a successful law practice given the amount of time he contributes year after year on a volunteer basis to AILA. He served on the executive committee of the Rome District Chapter for four years, and received a commendation from AILA's president in 2012 for his outstanding leadership of the chapter. He has been a member of the important and intensive DOS Liaison Committee for the past five years, providing invaluable input based on his unparalleled knowledge of FAM and the inner workings of the Department of State. He also has somehow found time over the past two years to serve on AILA's Global Migration Steering Committee, where his expertise as a US attorney practicing immigration law abroad has been instrumental in expanding AILA members' global immigration knowledge base.

Mr. Schwartz has been a constant source of information and support to members all over the world. He has been a mentor, counselor to the bar and generally the "go to guy" for AILA members in all matters involving consular law. He is never too busy, or to preoccupied or self -focused to share his wealth of knowledge with his colleagues or serve as a mentor. This is where he has made the most contribution, by passing his knowledge on to others in the field. This ultimately benefits the clients and the global public that interacts with consular posts. The fruits of his labors have made a difference already, and will continue to do so for years to come.

For the selfless sharing of his expertise, despite the myriad calls on his time and energy, AILA is honored to award Liam Schwartz the 2015 Sam Williamson Mentor Award.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 15062090.